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No Sign Of Improvement In Fiscal Cliff Talks

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Lawmakers in Washington don't appear to be any closer to a deal averting a series of tax hikes and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff.

At a toy manufacturing plant in Pennsylvania Friday, President Barack Obama asked the public to help him convince House Republicans to immediately pass a bill keeping taxes low for the middle class.

He said they should tackle the fiscal cliff before talking about taxes for high income earners because it's the one area both sides agree on.

The Democratic-led Senate has already passed the measure.

"Every family in America will see their income taxes automatically go up on January first," Obama said. "That's sort of like the lump of coal you get for Christmas. That's a Scrooge Christmas."

Republicans meanwhile are upset about a deal floated by the White House that calls for $1.6 trillion in tax reform -- including higher taxes for upper-income earners -- alongside almost $400 billion in spending cuts.

House Speaker John Boehner quickly dismissed the offer.

"They want to have this extra spending that's actually greater than the amount they're willing to cut," Boehner said. "It was not a serious proposal. And so right now we're almost nowhere."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she will try and force the middle class tax cut bill to a vote next Tuesday. ClientIP:,, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP